We did it. We canned.
I can’t tell you how many high-fives flew in the course of that journey. But Honey Dude and I are shamelessly proud of ourselves. Because, I know this is hard to believe but, canning is hard work!
Well the truth is, making salsa is hard work. Just the tomatoes were a beast of a job. First, you have to peel and seed them (score the skin, drop them into boiling water, set them into an ice bath, remove and pull seeds with your fingers). We watched a little tutorial online, where Mr. Chef made it look darn easy. Not so easy, in the end. Of course, HD conquered all of this solo, while I was busy on the other corner of our mini kitchen whipping out a chicken pot pie for dindin. Yes, chicken pot pie and canning in one big go. Who am I?
Needless to say, it was a great first for us. We learned how to sanitize the jars and lids, and we even got the satisfaction of hearing the “pop” as the jars settled, post bath. So after dining on chicken pot pie, cleaning up the massive mess, and settling down to a movie, we had ourselves a lovely snack. Chips and salsa at its finest. Next up: Pear butter and applesauce.
- A whole heck of a lot of tomatoes (about 20 medium)
- 10 poblano chili peppers, seeded and chopped
- 3 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
- 2 large onions, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- medium bunch cilantro, chopped
- 1/2 cup vinegar
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- Peel, seed, and chop tomatoes (you can try blanching, as we did, but it wasn’t as productive as we’d hoped). Place them in a large colander; let drain for about 30 minutes.
- Place drained tomatoes in an 8-quart pot. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, 45 minutes or until thick and chunky; stir frequently.
- Add chili peppers, onions, cilantro, vinegar, garlic, sugar, salt, and pepper. Return to boiling. Remove from heat. Makes 4 pints.
- Sanitize jars and lids by fully immersing in boiling water for 10 minutes. Make sure to use a grate so glass jars don’t touch the bottom of the pot (causing them to break!). Also start boiling water with jars already in your pot so they can gradually heat up.
- Use a canning tongs to remove glass jars; keep jars warm in between sanitizing process and canning bath (major temperature changes can break the glass)
- Using a canning funnel, ladle or pour salsa into hot, clean pint jars, leaving a 1/2-inch headspace.
- Wipe jar rims and apply lids, tightening to “fingertip tight” (don’t wrench on it; it needs the room to pressurize itself, post-bath).
- Process in a boiling water canner for 35 minutes, starting timer when water returns to a boil.
- Using tongs, remove jars from water and set on a wire rack or towel… and listen for the pop! (It happened within 2 minutes for us.)
- Allow 12 hours to cool.
- Label and date ’em, and use within the year!